« One for my lawyerin' buddies | Main | Oh please oh please oh please »

There are also reports the cause of death may have been overzealous pussywhipping

An interesting question came up this morning in the Alberta Baseball Confederacy's private chatroom: has there been a major change in the Enemies List for Edmonton hockey fans? The evidence I've seen shows that there are already two lists in existence, one for older fans structured thus:

1. Calgary
2. Dallas
3.-29. (everybody else)

And one for the younger fans, who don't remember Neil Sheehy or Jamie Macoun or Mike Bullard or Jim Peplinski:

1. Dallas
2. Calgary
3.-29. (everybody else)

Of course, details vary from fan to fan. I could probably make a complete 29-team list and justify the exact order. Calgary and Dallas would ordinarily be 1-2, although right now they are actually hard teams to despise. When it comes to the Flames I often find myself, as I have in their current series with San Jose, rooting against the team but quietly, almost unconsciously cheering for Jarome Iginla. The Stars have Daryl Reaugh in the booth and a roster full of Finns, two elements that make them inherently attractive to the Edmontonian. It's only when you see Turco and Zubov out there, and the bile surges, that you remember to hate them.

But the misgivings don't matter so much, because pretty much everybody's list now looks like this:

1. Chris Pronger and whatever team he's playing for
2.-3. Calgary/Dallas
4.-29. Everybody else

This will be the order, for pretty much all of us, until Pronger retires or is fatally injured in an imaginary furniture fire. Whichever comes first.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (31)

Nathan Muhly:

It seems to me that you could place Vancouver at number 4 on that list. There is an ever increasing sense of smugness emanating from that city. Plus, Luongo.

Yes, but remember, us Greaser fans have to fit Carolina in there near the top.

Honestly I would probably go with Colorado-Carolina-Vancouver as the 4-6 seeds, since Sakic knocked us out this year and we then murdered the Canucks. Plus COL & CAR, like Calgary and Dallas, get bonus scumbag points for being stolen franchises.

Nathan Muhly:

Atlanta is still mourning that loss to this very day.

Doug M.:

True to my age cohort (born 1981), Dallas was enemy #1 for a long time, but I've actually become agnostic towards them the last couple years. More and more, they seem to be playing a team I hate more (see round one of this year's playoffs for Exhibit A).

It is probably my personal bias from being a lifelong BC-resident Oilfan, but I despise the Canucks above pretty much everybody else. Remember the end of the 03-04 season, with all of the Hollywood North, go-to-the-game-to-be-seen, fashion-statement, "Nazzy-Bert-Mo", Canucks fans in GM Place taunting the Oil while they eliminated us from the playoffs?

It was a testament to the true extent of my Canucks hatred when I found myself actually cheering for the Ducks in the second round of last year's playoffs.

Don't make excuses for your crime, Muhly. You're just making it worse.

Nathan Muhly:

If...only...I could...muster...strength...to care. Gah! Forget about it.


I'll never get over hating Los Angeles. And Winnipeg. And Hartford for that 11-0 game.

Winnipeg? They went 0-6 against us in playoff series, 4-22 in the games. But yeah, LA is still right behind the other teams mentioned here.


It sounds like instead of listing as no.1, no.2, no.3, etc, maybe it should read no.1a, 1b, 1c, ...

That way every team is the number 1 most hated, just in a certain order.

Also, get ready for 29 Human Rights lawsuits for "hating" entire groups of people.

I honestly think Vancouver is #1 on most Oiler fans list, now. If you asked them, they'd say Calgary, but if you had people watch the Canucks and Flames play, I think you'd see a greater hatred for the Canucks emerge. I'd also say that Flames fans would react the same way if they watched the Oilers and Canucks play.

Then again...Phaneuf. And Pronger and Bertuzzi in Anaheim. But Kesler, Luongo and Burrows in Vancouver. I also don't think you can ignore the all-consuming hatred of everything to do with the Leafs. And Habs fans will become insufferable again if Montreal wins. Damn.

I think my list would be:

1a. Vancouver
1b. Calgary
2. Anaheim
3. Carolina
4. Dallas
5. Leafs
6. everyone else

The Leafs at #5? Fine, it's Toronto, and they've certainly been rising in the charts with time, but (a) they've never been a real threat to anybody but Ottawa and won't be for the conceivable future, (b) we have no historical beef with them unless you count our poor head-to-head record on the road, and (c) Habs fans are a MUCH greater immediate nuisance in this city. I don't think the Leafs sniff the top ten; it'd be like hating Mr. Bill.

You ever go to an Oilers game when the Leafs are in town? Their 50 years of irrelevance makes them even more annoying, because their fans act like it's the complete opposite. As for Habs fans being a greater nuisance in this city, you're ignoring the fact that there are tons of Oilers fans living outside of Edmonton, and that there are six bajillion Leafs fans living north of this city.

Oiler fans living in some other NHL city are inevitably going to list the local team as their most hated (see above) or near the top. They pretty much cancel each other out even if you're gonna count them. And I don't really understand the "north of this city" thing. Is there a sinister cabal of Leafs fans in Sturgeon County?

We all know you were just in Toronto, just relax about calling the Leafs more hated than the team that stole Gretzky just because you brought a grudge home in your carry-on.


Is there a sinister cabal of Leafs fans in Sturgeon County?

Our neighbours have a Leafs bar-b-que cover. 'Nuff said.


Full disclosure off the top that I'm a Leafs fan first, and since I live in Calgary, I'll also pull for the Flames. There isn't much opportunity for the Leafs and Flames to collide in a meaningful series, so I think I'm safe with that.

What bugs me is everybody at work telling me I have to cheer for the Habs because they are a Canadian team. I tell everyone I'd rather see the Russian National Team win the Stanley Cup than Montreal. They have to have the most obnoxious fanbase in sports perhaps outside Yankees fans.

Anyway, it got me thinking about this "cheer for the Canadian team" phenomenon which seems to be fairly recent, like last 7-8 years. I don't recall anything similar when the Islanders or Pens were winning cups, or even the late 90's with Jersey, etc. Probably a symptom of the general anti-American attitude in Canada right now, more than a pro-Canadian feeling.

Anyway, after that digression, my least favourite teams in the NHL are: Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa. I can't, in good conscience, cheer for any of those teams as I feel it would betray my loyalty to the teams I pull for. Similar to you, Colby I like some of the individuals on these teams (Stoll, for example) but as a collective, I despise them.

The idea of cheering for the likeliest Canadian team has an obvious origin in the long and unprecedented exile of the Stanley Cup. People feel it is contrary to the natural order, and since the Cup is held in trust on behalf of the citizens of Canada by law, this is more than just a superstition. That doesn't mean I want some other city to be the one that brings it back.


I much agree with Muhly regarding Anaheim.
I'm actually lucky enough to be in Dallas this week on Training and picked up $17 and $33 tickets to game 3 and game 6 (if needed). Now honestly, there are only 3 teams in hockey i'd cheer for Dallas against, but they are playing one of them. :-) (The others are Van + Cal)

I'm looking forward to seeing them lose in round 2 ;-)



Is there not also a connection between those teams' success and the hatred you feel towards them? Anaheim won the cup last year, so maybe people will cheer against them more this year. Or Detroit, always a powerhouse... do we laugh harder when they lose in the first round?

Or how about the other way around? Take the Blackhawks, a team that has been useless for the past number of years, and has some very exciting young players. Are they one of the least hated teams because of this? Until they become a powerhouse themselves in two years, then we hate them.

(maybe this doesn't hold up, since Vancouver seems to be hated quite a bit)

Personally, I've found it difficult to actaully HATE teams. They are only doing what they are supposed to do... try to win. And most of the players don't really have a whole lot of say where they play, or even the role they play. I'd feel more frustrated with the team I cheered for, if they sucked (Flames in the late 90's), or if they didn't live up to expectations (Flames two years ago), than the other teams.

All the NHL teams that have beaten the Oilers in the playoffs more often than they've lost are fairly high on the hatred list. All three of 'em.


Colby: I understand what you are saying about the likelihood that cheering for the Canadian team has it's origins in Canada being the rightful home of the Cup. However, it seems now that I'm always hearing people say they will cheer for team X "because they are Canadian", and I honestly don't remember that phenomenon pre 2004.

Doug M.:

My experience has been the opposite - around the turn of the millenium, when all the Canadian teams had sucked for years (Toronto sucks by definition) and the conventional wisdom was that no one but Toronto had the resources to compete, I noticed Canadian fans developing a feeling of solidarity.

Now that Canadian teams have experienced more success (most obviously the 04-07 runs to the finals), and there is no longer any serious talk about contraction of Canadian teams, everyone seems to have gone back to team affiliations.

PS - Is the 3 teams thing true? Dallas, Carolina, Colorado? Anyone else?

Colorado? "1 > 1" goes against all the math I ever learned.

Doug M.:

Oh right. So who is the third team?

The New York Islanders have eliminated them twice ('81, '83) and lost once ('84).

Colorado is in fact the only team square with the Oilers unless you separate the North Stars and Dallas. (They have won eight of nine series against Original Six teams and 14 of 15 against Canadian teams.)

I can't say that as a die-hard Vancouver fan I hate the Oilers especially (except for them competing for playoff spots, so I'd totally like to see Vancouver pound them into the ground every game).

I don't even blame the Oilers for killing off the Canucks' season: they may have taken it off life-support, but winning 1 (!!!) game in March was a highly public suicide (I'm sure the less-tasteful fans in Vancouver are sending condoms to Luongo's home address as we speak).

Vancouver's enemies list probably goes:

1. Minnesota
2. Everybody else

And I think that the reason Vancouver ranks highly as an enemy is that they've fielded playoff-grade teams most years recently, and this year's team can be described as 8 months of playoff-qualifying-pace play, followed by 1 month where they couldn't have beaten the Vancouver Canucks Old-Timers*.

*Assuming Linden was a healthy scratch as usual, and thus eligible to play for the Old-Timers.

Er, I DON'T hate the Oilers especially...just, you understand, the usual amount.

Now Toronto, I just love watching them blow chunks.

(I'm sure the less-tasteful fans in Vancouver are sending condoms to Luongo's home address as we speak)

Safe sex is everybody's business.

Klondike Mike:

It's hard to hate Carolina, except for the joy experienced in Fort Saskatchewan in 2006.

It was Bergeron and Conklin (and maybe Doug Weight a little) that deserve the dislike. The Hartford connection is relevant, however, as my fondness for the Nordiques has slightly bled into my perception of the Av's - Sakic, Forsberg and Foote being remnants of those underachieving teams from the early 90's. So while it's OK to want to crush Carolina when we play them, and especially relevant to take glee in the fact they have also missed the last 2 SC tournaments, I don't actively root against them.

Any true Oiler fan knows that Los Angeles in RIGHT behind Calgary. For 99 reasons.

No true Oiler fan hates Winnipeg either, as they once boasted the greatest non-NHL team in the world, and they were our Smythe punching bag for a decade. What are the Globetrotters without the Generals?

Hating the other Canadian teams because of their fans is ridiculous. Hating Toronto and Vancouver because they have obnoxious fans AND no track record to back it up? Priceless.

Montreal has the most in common with Edmonton as far as passion, hockey history and success.

I couldn't agree more with the Dallas/Anaheim scenario. Brad Richards is a beauty player who snuffed the Flames best shot at filling out their Stanley Cup brassiere, and adding in the Finn contingent, which includes Matti Hagman's son, means they are off the list until we meet again in the post-season.

Now that former jet Selanne has his token Cup (the 21st Century trend, give the old guy one mug on his epitaph) there is absolutely nothing to respect about the Ducks, and therefore they have replaced the Stars near the top. Pronger is banned from all hockey pools I participate in.


Montreal has the most in common with Edmonton as far as passion, hockey history and success.
I say this as a Montreal fan...we can be pricks. Giant ones. Most English Habs fans are kind of like the sports version of Australians: We're descended from bandwagon hoppers.

Lord Bob:

A thought I just had: I hate the Flames more than I hate the Leafs. However, if the Flames played the Leafs for the Stanley Cup, I'd cheer for the Flames because I respect a lot of their fans and, objectively, behind all the oil guys with brand new Iginla jerseys are a core of some of the strongest fans in the NHL.

I think that we're considering this as a one-dimensional continuum, but it's really two-dimensional. At least. I demand some sort of graph on relative hatred of NHL teams.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 11, 2008 12:35 PM.

The previous post in this blog was One for my lawyerin' buddies.

The next post in this blog is Oh please oh please oh please.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35